Compliment Responses across Gender: Moroccan EFL Learners as a Case Study
Compliment response is among the most common speech acts used in everyday conversations. Recipients’ responses to compliments differ depending on distinct social variables, including power, the degree of intimacy, social distance, culture and gender. The current study investigates Compliment Responses (henceforth, CRs) among Moroccan male and female EFL learners based on four topics of compliments (ability, character, possession and appearance). Thence, the present paper aims to explore the most frequent CR strategies used by Moroccan male and female EFL learners. Besides, it endeavors to find out the differences between the two groups in CRs. 50 female and 50 male EFL learners from Sultan Moulay Slimane University took part in the present study, epitomizing higher education population. In order to attain the required data for the study, discourse completion test (DCT) was used and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentages) and inferential statistics (Independent T-test) based on Herbert’s (1989) classification of CRs. Results of the study revealed that the most frequent CR strategies used by Moroccan male and female EFL learners at the macro level are agreement strategies; however, the most frequent CR strategies used by the two groups at the micro level are appreciation token, praise upgrade and return strategies, wherein females showed a great tendency towards the use of praise upgrade and return strategies, while males were more inclined to the use of appreciation token strategy. Furthermore, the study results showed that there is a consonance between Moroccan male and female EFL learners in CRs at the macro level, whereas there is a significant difference between the two groups at the micro level in all situations except for character.
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